ON Wednesday, March 26, local Historian Ken Brooks gave a very interesting talk on Wartime Hastings to the club’s members at the Taplin Centre and began his presentation by illustrating the First World War with a selection of images of the Zeppelin followed by further images of the first conscriptions following the outbreak of the Second World War.
Hastings was in the spotlight as Ken Brooks spoke about a number of small boats which were sent from Hastings in an attempt to assist at Dunkirk but the shrapnel damaged lifeboat was the only ship which was successful in bringing back any survivors to England.
Ken’s talk was fascinating and revealed the resourcefulness of those involved in the war effort and explained how the iron railings from Alexandra Park and the cemetery were removed along with the floor planks and metalwork from the main pier to assist the production of equipment and improve defences.
Even the Statue of Queen Victoria in Warrior Square suffered damage and continues to bear marks of bomb and bullet damage to this day.
During the Second World War, Ken described how the St Clements Caves were used by Hastings residents as bomb shelters and how the air raid siren placed upon Silverhill played its part in alerting people to take cover during bombing raids.
The talk was concluded later in the evening by Ken who finished with a description of how V1 and V2 anti-aircraft guns were deployed along Hastings seafront and used to thwart the German rockets after which the evening was brought to a close with a series of celebratory photographs of Hastings residents taken at the end of the Second World War.
On Saturday, April 26 the club will be holding its Summer auction of used and surplus radio and electronics equipment. The auction opens its doors at 1.30pm to members of the club and the general public at the Holy Redeemer Church Hall with bidding due to start at 2.15pm. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org beforehand for further details if you intend to come. The clubs official site can be found at www.herc-hastings.org.uk.